Does God Forgive Murderers?
Murder is taken as the most heinous and serious crime. Every jurisdiction in the world prohibits murder, even if to some degree. In developed countries, murder tops the list of crimes that can be punishable by death.
In the Christian faith, God condemns murder in the ten commandments (Exodus 20:13). However, we all know God is a God of grace and forgiveness. So, does he forgive murderers? Read on to find out more.
Does God Forgive Murderers?
Yes, God forgives murderers. According to the Bible, God forgives all sins equally for anyone who repents and receives the grace and mercy given to them by Christ on the cross. So, irrespective of your sin, whether lying, stealing or killing, God can forgive you provided you believe that Jesus died for your sins to save and redeem us and repent for your sins.
The Bible teaches us that Jesus’ blood is the redemption price for every person who believes in him. He is the mediator between God and man. If Jesus didn’t die on the cross, we would have to pay for our sins repeatedly from the beginning of the world. Fortunately, Jesus came for us all and shed his blood on the cross, making us capable of redemption when we accept him and repent for our sins.
The only sin that cannot be forgiven is the blasphemy of the holy ghost. This sin involves a person refusing to confess and asking God for forgiveness, even though they don’t want the holy spirit to tell them about it. When someone refuses to confess their sins to the holy spirit, they are guilty of blasphemy of the holy ghost.
Why Is Murder A Serious Sin?
The Bible considers all sins to be equal in the eyes of God (Romans 3:23 and 6:23) because they are expressions of rebellion that negatively affect a person’s relationship with God. However, not all sins have the same intensity of consequences.
For instance, lying is wrong. A child lying to their parents has different consequences from an adult lying under oath in a court of law. These two scenarios have different degrees of negative consequences.
The same applies to murder. Murder involves taking the life of an innocent person bearing God’s image. According to John MacArthur (Genesis 6:9):
“To take the life of a fellow human being is to assault the sacredness of the image of God.”
Again, there are different degrees of murder. Murder refers to killing an innocent person. According to theologians, intentionally killing an innocent person and taking the life of another in warfare are different cases of murder.
Then there’s the issue of killing someone intentionally or accidentally. Deuteronomy 19:4 says:
“This is the provision for the manslayer, who by fleeing there may save his life. If anyone kills his neighbor unintentionally without having hated him in the past.”
According to this verse, manslaughter may or may not result in sin. Take this example; if a person is driving while drunk and hits an innocent person resulting in their death, they are guilty of sin. However, if someone sober is driving and loses control due to being black and hitting someone resulting in their death, they are not guilty of sin.
Author and pastor John Piper say, “A clear distinction is preserved between legal ‘putting to death and illegal ‘murder’. Like in Numbers 35:19:
“The murderer shall certainly be put to death.”
The term murderer originates from ‘rahaz’, which is prohibited in the ten commandments. The word ‘put to death” is a general term that can describe legal executions.
Murderers Mentioned In The Bible
Here are famous murderers in the Bible:
Cain is known as the first murderer in the Bible. According to Genesis 4:8, he killed his brother out of jealousy and was sent to exile. However, God still protected him and ensured he was free from retribution. Genesis 4:15 says:
“the lord said to him, ‘Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.’ Then God put a mark on Cain so that no one would find him and kill him.”
Moses is usually perceived as a leader, hero, prophet, and law-giver. However, he was also a murderer. Exodus 2:11-12 reads:
“One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Looking this way and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.”
After the incident, Moses feared retribution if he returned to Egypt. But when God called him through the burning bush, he assured him that he didn’t have to fear anything. Exodus 4:19 says:
“Go back to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you are dead.”
In the new testament, Moses is seen as a pillar of faith in Hebrew 11:24-28. He was also one of the two old testament prophets seen with Jesus at the Transfiguration in Matthew 17:1-3.
David slept with Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba, who became pregnant. He tried to cover up the adultery and failed. Then he arranged to have Uriah killed in battle (2 Samuel 11:14-17). Then prophet Nathan confronted and rebuked David. David repented, and the Lord’s response was gracious. 2 Samuel 12:13 says:
David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.”
And despite David’s sins like murder, God used him to establish his earthly kingdom that finally is established s Jesus’ heavenly kingdom. God even described David as a man after his own heart in Acts 13:22.
So, does God forgives murderers? Yes, God forgives murderers. According to the Bible, God forgives all sins equally for anyone who repents and receives the grace and mercy given to them by Christ on the cross. So, if you believe in God and that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, repent, and your sins will be forgiven.